George Karlaftis

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/6/22

Here are the latest draft pick signings:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears 

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

  • DB Tariq Woolen (fifth round, Texas-San Antonio)
  • LB Tyreke Smith (fifth round, Ohio State)
  • WR Bo Melton (seventh round, Rutgers)
  • WR Dareke Young (seventh round, Lenoir-Rhyne)

Washington Commanders

Chiefs Sign First-Rounder George Karlaftis

The Chiefs had two picks to work with on Day 1 of last week’s draft. The first was used to help bolster their secondary, while the second, edge rusher George Karlaftis, will add to their front seven. Kansas City has agreed to terms with him on his rookie deal, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). 

Karlaftis had a productive three-year career at Purdue. His freshman season was his best, as he totalled 54 tackles, including 17 for a loss, as well as 7.5 sacks. While he was limited to just two games the following year, he bounced back in 2021, earning Third-Team All-American honors.

One of the best power rushers in this year’s class, the Greece native has the frame (six-foot-four, 275 pounds) to hold up against NFL competition. Given his build and lack of fluidity relative to other edge players, though, there are questions surrounding where he would best be served to line up, especially early in his career. Still, his combination of size, technique and upside left no one surprised when the Chiefs selected him 30th overall.

In Kansas City, Karlaftis will join an edge group headed by Frank Clark. The team’s recent decision to use a UFA tender on veteran Melvin Ingram points to a re-signing in the near future, but Karlaftis should still be able to see significant playing time right away and throughout his four- (or five-) year tenure on his rookie deal.

Draft Rumors: Williams, Colts, Cardinals, Texans, Broncos

After breaking out in his lone Alabama season, Jameson Williams encountered a significant hurdle to close his junior year. The ACL tear Williams suffered in the national championship game damaged his pre-draft stock, but it appears to be rebounding. Williams is now expected to be taken in the top 10, Chris Mortensen of ESPN said recently (h/t Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com; Twitter link). ESPN ranks Williams as its No. 4 wideout prospect, at No. 19 overall, behind ex-Ohio State teammates Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave and USC’s Drake London. When available in 2021, the slender Crimson Tide wideout showed game-breaking speed in a monster statistical season. The 6-foot-1 transfer get totaled 1,572 yards (19.9 per catch) and 15 touchdowns. That total surpasses other first-round Tide wideout draftees like Julio Jones, Jerry Jeudy and Jaylen Waddle‘s final-season production at the SEC powerhouse. ACL tears are obviously not the deterrents they once were, and teams eyeing Williams through a long-range lens would make sense.

Here is the latest from the draft:

  • In what would seemingly be a meet-and-greet, as opposed to something indicating a potential draft choice, the Colts scheduled a Malik Willis visit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). Indianapolis traded its 2022 first-round pick to Philadelphia for Carson Wentz last year and acquired Matt Ryan to be its starter for at least the next two seasons. Willis would profile as a developmental prospect behind Ryan, but the Colts not having a pick until No. 42 makes a partnership unrealistic. The Liberty prospect has visited the Falcons and Panthers, and the Steelers have been linked to the Group of 5 passing prospect as well. The Colts could acquire another potential Ryan heir apparent in Round 2, but they make more sense as a QB suitor in 2023.
  • The Texans have another veteran stable of running backs, having added Marlon Mack to a group that includes Rex Burkhead and Royce Freeman, but the rebuilding team could use younger talent here. Iowa State’s Breece Hall is viewed by some as this draft’s top back, and he visited the Texans on Wednesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. After its two first-round picks, Houston holds the No. 37 overall selection. That would be the most logical window for Hall to become a Texan, barring a trade. The Bills, Commanders and Giants have also met with Hall.
  • Losing Chandler Jones in free agency after seeing J.J. Watt battle more major injury trouble, the Cardinals could use pass-rushing help. They met with a first-round talent recently, hosting Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis, Pelissero tweets. The 266-pound rusher did not post eye-popping stats (14 sacks in three seasons) but is viewed as a solid all-around prospect, whom NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah compares to fellow ex-Boilermaker Ryan Kerrigan.
  • Russell Wilson‘s Denver arrival ensured the Broncos do not hold a draft choice until No. 64, but they are meeting with a higher-end tackle prospect. Tulsa’s Tyler Smith visited the Broncos recently, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. The Broncos signed Billy Turner and Tom Compton; one is likely to become Denver’s 10th Week 1 right tackle in 10 years. But the team has long needed a young answer at this position. Smith rates as Jeremiah’s No. 41 overall prospect but sits 58th on ESPN’s big board.

Purdue DE George Karlaftis Enters NFL Draft

Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis will enter the 2022 NFL Draft, according to head coach Jeff Brohm (via Tom Dienhart of Gold and Black). This was the expected move as Karlaftis is regarded as one of the best edge rushers in this year’s class.

[RELATED: Oregon DE Thibodeaux Declaring For NFL Draft]

They will not be coming back to play next year,” Brohm said over the weekend. “They will be moving on.”

Mel Kiper of ESPN currently has Karlaftis ranked 21st on his Big Board. He’s registered just 4.5 sacks this season, but the 6’4″, 270-pounder has consistently brought the pressure. As a frosh in 2019, his only other full season, he registered 7.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. In 2020, a positive COVID-19 test limited him to just three games.

Karlaftis will be joined by wide receiver David Bell, a potential Day 2 pick. Bell set new collegiate career-highs this year with 93 catches for 1,286 yards and six touchdowns.